Thursday, 16 June 2011

Whilst I was missing - Scotland

I was all pumped to share pics with you from the Isle of Wight music festival last weekend, but alas, I'm not so organised to have sorted and uploaded pics etc.  And I really want to include pics for that post.  Rest assured it was buckets of fun!

Two weekends prior to that (28 - 30 May) was a long weekend here in the UK.  Taking advantage of that, my housemate Kate and I headed north, to Scotland, to attempt to climb Ben Nevis with her sister, brother-in-law and a few friends.

Ben Nevis is the highest point in the UK and the last of the Three Peaks I want to scale so I was pretty excited about it.  Fresh from the Lake District and confident in my new boots, I was pretty hopeful.

Well, turns out Mother Nature had other ideas and hopeful alone was not enough.  On what was one of the most feral days I can remember, we attempted and failed.  We made good ground and got beyond half way before one of our group took ill, forceing us all to stop for a bit.  Stopping on the side of a mountain with wind, rain and hail lashing you is cause to cool down.  After being stopped for a while and it becoming apparent we couldn't all go on, we turned around, somewhat defeated.

So Ben Nevis remains a challenge for another time.  The next day we read the news of a fellow walker (a fit, well equipped 22 year male) dying from hyperthermia that same day who didn't even get half way.  It really was a feral day and had we had more time, we probably never would have attempted the climb in those conditions, waiting for a clearer day.

Our smiles hide just how cold we were.  The snow that fell was a welcome relief from the hail that smashed our faces.

So whilst Ben Nevis (the main aim of our trip) beat us, the trip itself was still worthwhile.  Scotland has a natural rugged beauty that I don't think I will ever tire of.  I can't wait to one day go furthter north, and to the Orkneys.  Mostly from the comfort of our car, we oohed and ahhed as we drove around the Argyll Coastal Route and the A82 (Britain's best road apparently).

In order:
Loch Lomond, from Duck Bay Marina
The Nevis Ranges, from Spean Bridge
Loch Ness, from Fort Augustus
Loch Tulla, from Achallader

Is Scotland on your to see list?  have you been there?  I love it and can't wait to return.  Again.  And again. And again. 

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